20 Jul 2018
Hafizabad, Punjab (Pakistan)
TDoR list ref: tgeu/20-Jul-2018/Sania
Sania was shot dead at a wedding in the Chiniya Nawali area of Hafizabad on Friday 20th July.
She was one of several trans women engaged as dancers at a wedding party. When one of the guests made unwelcome sexual advances and the group objected, he pulled a gun and shot Sania dead.
Transgender persons are often targeted and denied their rights in Pakistan’s deeply patriarchal society. Dancing at weddings and stage performances are the most common professions that the marginalised community’s members take up. In Pakistan, stage performers have little protection. In April this year, pregnant singer Samina Sindhu was shot dead for being unable to dance while singing. Transgender performers face even worse discrimination. Aish Khan, a transgender performer based in Karachi, told SAMAA that men get drunk at most of the functions.
“I used to perform at all-men gatherings but have stopped that because I have been assaulted four times,” she said. “The men consider us their private property and do not respect our choices. Now, I just perform at family functions.”
Performers are ill-treated if they say no. “Men at a DHA event shaved the eyebrows of my friend, Payal, just to humiliate her,” she said. “Our community protested and the police arrested him, only to let him off in a few hours. I saw him again at a function in Baldia and he asked me to meet him alone. When I said no, he told me that he’ll kidnap me on my way.”
Aish said men do not consider them humans. “We are humans and we get tired after continuous performance from 12am to 5am,” she said. “If I want to sit and rest for a while, they get furious.”
Geo.tv & Daily Pakistan, 20.07.2018